Jim Hoffman and sons, Matt & Tyler, run a cattle backgrounding operation near Artesian, SD. Beginning in February 2009, the Hoffman’s and cooperators put together several groups of yearling steer calves (824 head), sourced from auction markets in both North Dakota and South Dakota.
Hoffman’s first learned about IONO-LYX® B300 from Hubbard Feeds representatives and their local dealer, Forestburg Farmer’s Elevator. The Hoffman’s indicated that their summer grazing program needed to achieve nearly a 2 lb. gain per head, per day in a 130 - 140 day grazing program to achieve investment goals. Past yearling programs in the area, with little management or supplement, showed daily gains of only 1.5 lbs per head, per day.
The yearlings were split into 11 different groups, grazed and rotated on cool seasons pastures from May through September and were offered IONO-LYX® B300. Gains on grass for all groups combined averages 1.9 lbs. per head, per day. “Whatever was in the IONO-LYX® B300 barrel worked,” commented Jim. “Most groups gained 2 lbs or better and this program needed approximately 2 lbs gain; and we got it, this was a good investment.”
“Management of the cattle was another key,” says Hoffman. “An added benefit was that the supplement helped with not only gain, but also with pasture management. In our system, you pay the same for an acre of grass that gets a lot of grazing pressure as you do for the grass in a pasture corner that may be un-grazed.” Grass in 2009 was think and tall, and the barrels helped distribute cattle grazing away from water locations.
CRYSTALYX®, IONO-LYX® B300 is a palatable free-choice supplement providing protein, vitamins, and minerals plus the added benefit of Bovatec®. It’s ideal for all pasture grazing situations by helping increase grazing gains by 10% or more. In the Hoffman operation, income of grazing animals was based on gain performance. The use of IONO-LYX® B300 was considered to help lower cost of gain and substantially increase their return on their investment.